Dartmoor Nature Tours

Discover Dartmoor's wildlife with a professional local guide  

June 

June (updated on Friday 31 May 2019)

June was the fourth month of the old Latin calendar and is thought to have got its name in honour of the Roman goddess Juno.

The weather in May was fairly dry with some occasional showers. Perhaps the weather in spring this year played a part in creating conditions ideal for Bluebells which had fantastic displays all over Dartmoor (see picture below, top left). We often think of Bluebells as woodland plants but on Dartmoor we also find them on areas of open moorland which was probably wooded at one time but never ploughed.

Pearl Bordered Fritillaries

After a very staggered emergence period there were reasonable numbers around whenever the sun was shining. I was lucky enough to find one or two sedately nectaring on the bugle plants plus one which decided to rest on the headlight of my car (see picture below, top right). We are now awaiting the emergence of the Small Pearl Bordereds which will hopefully emerge on time.

Pied Flycatchers Plenty of Pied Flycatchers around this year and they are busy feeding their youngster which will soon be fledged (see picture below, bottom left). Many of them use the next boxes provided on woodland nature reserves but also some also nest in adjoining gardens. The real challenge, however, is finding a pair nesting in a tree hole! After fledging the adult Pied Flycatchers and their youngsters move up into the woodland canopy and after mid-June are virtually impossible to see.

Dragonflies-

Warm weather at this time of year also sees the emergence of adult dragonflies and damselflies emerging from our streams and rivers.

The Beautiful Demoiselle is a fairly common species in the fast-flowing streams in South-West England and certainly lives up to its common name. The males (see picture below, bottom right) have dark brown-black wings with iridescent blue veins and the body is metallic blue-green. In contrast the females hand juveniles have dark brown wings but are equally impressive.

Nightjars

Also known as Goatsuckers or Nighthawks, these birds are the last of our summer migrants to return. They are associated with lowland heathland habitats and arrive locally during the first week of May. They are active from sundown onwards and spend the day sitting flat on the ground where they are superbly camouflaged. The males make an amazing churring noise which ends in a bubbling trill. There are also contact calls made in flight when the male bird can be distinguished by the white flashes on its wings.

Future Events

Moorland Walk


The next Moorland Walk will be on Sunday June 23rd. The walk will start at 09.30 hours from the Haytor Visitor Centre. Charge is £5.00 per adult. There should be plenty of moorland birds such as stonechats, wheatears and whitethroats plus a few surprises.

Telephone (0785 8421 148) or e-mail me at enquiries@dartmoornaturetours.co.uk if you need more information

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